Wifes and children of the Mormon Orville Beecham become victims of a massacre in his own house. The police believes the crime had a religious motive. Orville doesn't give any comment on the... See full summary »
J. Lee Thompson
Trish Van Devere,
Abner Procane, top L.A. burglar, finds that somebody stole his plans for next ambitious heist. He hires Raymond St. Ives, crime books writer, to negotiate the return of those documents. Written by
Dragan Antulov <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This movie's MacGuffin are some stolen papers, documents, plans and ledgers which are owned by Abner Procane played by John Houseman. Interestingly, a few years before this movie was made, Houseman appeared in the The Paper Chase (1973) in which he won the Best Actor in a Supporting Role Academy Award Oscar. Charles Bronson's mission in this picture is to recover these papers, his charge being a kind of "paper chase" in a sense. See more »
At the drive-in, a western is being shown. The same stampede sequence loops over and over, sometimes even in the same shot. See more »
Reading some of the reviews here, I can see that a lot of folks aren't happy with Charles Bronson's interpretation of Ross Thomas's hero, Raymond St. Ives. Having not read any of the books I can't comment there. I'm happy enough with Charles Bronson in the part having no novel to measure it against.
I'm also very happy with the very excellent cast of supporting players that Bronson and J. Lee Thompson put together for St. Ives. There what really makes this film work for me.
Picture if Dr. Reifenschneider or Casper Guttman had kept a diary of all the criminal enterprises they had been involved with. That's what master criminal John Houseman as Abner Procane has done. But somebody's stolen it and wants some big bucks to get it back.
Enter Charles Bronson as Ray St. Ives, former crime reporter now trying to work on a novel. He knows the Los Angeles underworld and portals of entry therein like no one else, so Houseman hires him as a go between.
Bronson's 'between' all right, between a whole lot of people with agendas at cross purposes. In this stellar cast you'll find Jacqueline Bisset as the Charley's Angel like security for Houseman, Maxmilian Schell as Houseman's psychiatrist, Harris Yulin and Harry Guardino as a pair of on the make detectives, Dana Elcar as their superior, and Elisha Cook as the hotel clerk where Bronson stays.
Bronson's got his work cut out for him in this one. Figure he's the good guy, he's got some real problems telling just who the villains are.
Funniest scene, Bronson in his favorite bar/lunch counter place feeding Val Bisoglio and pumping him for information as Dick O'Neil cuts the corned beef. This might have been what got Bisoglio to thinking about owning a more upscale place because his best known role was coming shortly, as Danny who owned the place Jack Klugman and the cast of Quincy loved to kick back in.
Obviously purists of Ross Thomas's work have problems with St. Ives, but fans of Charles Bronson most definitely won't.
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